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Hugo Zhou : PL surfaces and genus cobordism

Every knot in S^3 bounds a PL disk in the four ball. But this is no longer true for knots in other three manifolds, as demonstrated first by Akbulut, who constructed a knot which does not bound any PL disk in a specific contractible four manifold. Then Levine showed that there exist knots that do not bound a PL disk in any homology four ball. What happens if we relax the condition of bounding PL disk to bounding a PL surface with some given genus? In the joint work with Hom and Stoffregen, we proved that for each n, there exists a knot K_n in an integer homology sphere that does not bound a PL surface of genus n in any homology four ball. The proof uses Heegaard Floer homology. More specifically, the obstruction comes from knot cobordism maps by Zemke and the construction uses recent filtered mapping cone formula for cables of the knot meridian.

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